Managing [online adjunct]
faculty at a distance


Dr. Stella Porto
Master of Distance Education
Graduate School of Managem...
Focus
This presentation discusses
the challenges,
opportunities and
experience in managing
online adjunct faculty.

The ap...
Agenda
•  Introduction
     Background & context
•  The faculty lifecycle: challenges and approaches
     Hiring
     G...
Introduction: Context
the MDE partnership
Introduction: Context
     The program
The MDE focus on developing managers
and leaders in the areas of e-learning &
dista...
Introduction: the landscape
•  Managing online adjunct faculty…
   Shift from a campus based perspective
   Employment t...
The faculty lifecycle
Hiring
Getting ready to teach online
•  Formal training need
    Best practices in faculty
     training
    Course design &
  ...
Getting ready to teach online
•  Setting expectations
     Formally & Informally
     How do we avoid the
      isolatio...
Living together: communication

                     Communicating
                     policies and
                     ...
Living together: communication

                       Sharing information

                       ✔ Reach out to
        ...
Living together: communication
                  One-on-One: telling bad
                  news
                  ✔  The i...
Living together: communication




Dealing with difficult students
✔  Policies and procedures in practice
✔  Taking sides
...
Living together: communication


                     Reflecting and building
                     community:

           ...
(Social media for support
in the MDE: The MDE Faculty Forum)




                 The MDE Faculty-forum
                 ...
Living together:
   professional development




✔  Community of practice
✔  Training
✔  Scholarly activities
✔  Instituti...
Living together:
  inclusion, ownership & belonging




✔  Course, program and materials
✔  Ownership vs. belonging
✔  Own...
Living together: assessment




✔  Course, program and materials
✔  Student surveys
✔  Peer visits
Living together: technology

✔  Resistance
✔  Training
✔  Needs and fads
✔  Mission & means
The MDE Student Support
Social Media Suite: The MDE wiki




                The MDE wiki on new technologies
            ...
Living together: saying goodbyes
              ✔  Inapt for online teaching
              ✔  Issues with pay
             ...
Learning lessons…

  Resumes can sometimes
fool you
  The importance of the
online people skills
  Contributing beyond ...
Learning lessons…

                      Social media can provide
                    enormous programmatic
             ...
Thank you!
       Questions?
Contact: sporto@umuc.edu
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USDLA 2010 - S.Porto

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Presentation by Stella Porto at the USDLA'2010 Conference, St. Louis, May 4, 2010.

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USDLA 2010 - S.Porto

  1. 1. Managing [online adjunct] faculty at a distance Dr. Stella Porto Master of Distance Education Graduate School of Management & Technology University of Maryland University College
  2. 2. Focus This presentation discusses the challenges, opportunities and experience in managing online adjunct faculty. The approach is one of shedding light on real-world situations and formalizing lessons learned.
  3. 3. Agenda •  Introduction   Background & context •  The faculty lifecycle: challenges and approaches   Hiring   Getting ready for online teaching   Living together   It is all about communication; Resistance; Being the middleman; etc.   Carrots & sticks: Incentives; Professional development; Coaching; etc.   Saying goodbyes •  Final remarks
  4. 4. Introduction: Context the MDE partnership
  5. 5. Introduction: Context The program The MDE focus on developing managers and leaders in the areas of e-learning & distance education within different Corporate Training & settings, including: K-12, higher- Our mission is our education, corporate, non-profits, Faculty Learning Media & government and military. means and our means Support technology Potential managers of the DE mission is our Distance •  Education enterprise Instruction •  Entirely online for part-time Higher Design & Education working adults Support •  International Leaders & Managers •  Collaborative
  6. 6. Introduction: the landscape •  Managing online adjunct faculty…  Shift from a campus based perspective  Employment ties are loose  Ownership and accountability can be complex and dubious  Lack of community  Dealing with students at a distance  Difficulty in tailored faculty development provision
  7. 7. The faculty lifecycle
  8. 8. Hiring
  9. 9. Getting ready to teach online •  Formal training need   Best practices in faculty training   Course design & development vs. delivery •  Mentoring & Advising •  Support   Academics   Administrative
  10. 10. Getting ready to teach online •  Setting expectations   Formally & Informally   How do we avoid the isolation without micromanaging?   How to be keep consistency without killing creativity? •  Setting boundaries
  11. 11. Living together: communication Communicating policies and procedures ✔ Re-enforcing ✔  Being reasonable ✔  “Don’t kill the messenger” ✔  Overseeing and respecting freedom
  12. 12. Living together: communication Sharing information ✔ Reach out to everyone ✔  Share information about the program and the landscape ✔  Promote collaboration
  13. 13. Living together: communication One-on-One: telling bad news ✔  The institutional perspective ✔  Teaching evaluations ✔  Issues of compliance ✔  Finding the core of the problem ✔  Coaching PhDs? ✔  When things are simply not working…
  14. 14. Living together: communication Dealing with difficult students ✔  Policies and procedures in practice ✔  Taking sides ✔  Being the middleman
  15. 15. Living together: communication Reflecting and building community: ✔  Sharing experiences ✔  Building partnerships ✔  Enhancing the program
  16. 16. (Social media for support in the MDE: The MDE Faculty Forum) The MDE Faculty-forum  Management effectiveness  Privacy, listserv mode, discussion board, simple and not-invasive
  17. 17. Living together: professional development ✔  Community of practice ✔  Training ✔  Scholarly activities ✔  Institutional perspective and beyond
  18. 18. Living together: inclusion, ownership & belonging ✔  Course, program and materials ✔  Ownership vs. belonging ✔  Ownership & decision-making ✔  The big picture & the local view
  19. 19. Living together: assessment ✔  Course, program and materials ✔  Student surveys ✔  Peer visits
  20. 20. Living together: technology ✔  Resistance ✔  Training ✔  Needs and fads ✔  Mission & means
  21. 21. The MDE Student Support Social Media Suite: The MDE wiki The MDE wiki on new technologies   Knowledge-base   Information sharing   Meta-learning
  22. 22. Living together: saying goodbyes ✔  Inapt for online teaching ✔  Issues with pay ✔  Excessive work ✔  Life happens ✔  institutional issues
  23. 23. Learning lessons…   Resumes can sometimes fool you   The importance of the online people skills   Contributing beyond the classroom   Balancing ownership with independent decision-making
  24. 24. Learning lessons…   Social media can provide enormous programmatic support   Learn to stand in the adjuncts’ shoes   The shoes may vary A LOT though   Accept being the middleman and learn how to do it well
  25. 25. Thank you! Questions? Contact: sporto@umuc.edu
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